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Decoding Fantasy Football: A Ludic Perspective

Published in University of Bremen
Pages: 85 - 116

Fantasy sport has risen in popularity in the last decade with the advent of web 2.0. As people from around the world watch sporting events today, the internet has become an ideal site to instantly disseminate results and achievements for avid fans and followers. This paper is an attempt to position fantasy sports in the realm of game studies, drawing from the specific case of fantasy football (soccer in North America). Borrowing from and building on Roger Caillois classical game typology, this paper seeks to arrive at a nuanced understanding of both fantasy sport as a game and the experience it offers to participants. By using an ethnographic approach, based on in-depth interviews and co-playing sessions, this study closely observes participants in-game performances in the Fantasy Premier League. By stitching together information from the interviews with observation of participants approaches and preferences along with the performance of their teams, this paper identifies the key decisions and processes that a player of fantasy sport is part of. By situating fantasy sport in the ludic debate of preparation versus luck, this paper offers unique insights into the various ways that players exert effort to succeed at the game. The use of an approach that examines what players do to their fantasy teams enables this paper to examine players psyches and the interrelated elements of fandom, favoritism and loyalty. Analysis of the data offers insights in to the various practices and approaches of players as well as lays the foundation of new concepts

About the journal
PublisherUniversity of Bremen
Open AccessNo